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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

[The purpose of the Digest is informative Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval-Editor.]

That the population of the East Side shows a greater interest than that of any other section of New York in the local and national political issues, as evidenced during the election campaigns, is the assertion made in the “Jewish Morning Journal” of Oct. 27 by J. Magidov.

“The candidates find the best response on the East Side,” the writer says. “A meeting on the East Side is usually attended by thousands of persons and the candidates feel that here they actually have the electorate before them. Rarely are meetings in other sections of the city as large as here or as demonstrative. And the population of the East Side is numerous enough to furnish large demonstrations for the Democrats in a Republican district and large Republican rallies in a Democatic district. The fact is, the East Side constitutes the best forum for candidates of all parties if they desire to discuss issues earnestly. Here they do not speak to empty seats and unthinking heads, here they really get what is called inspiration. This is to be observed in reading or listening to the addresses delivered on the East Side by Smith and Mills, by Wadsworth and Wagner. Here they do not speak without consideration, here they take up the issues carefully and try to answer them seriously.”

JEWISH YOUTH AND HALLOWEEN

Jewish young folk have acquired the custom of celebrating, Halloween without realizing that in so doing they are celebrating what was once a pagan and is now a Christian holiday, declares the “Jewish Daily News,” orthodox daily of New York. In its English section of Oct. 25, the paper quotes a correspondent as follows:

“Many of our Jewish young men and young women will celebrate Halloween on October 31st. I am quite sure that they are ignorant of the meaning of this day, or else they would not want to celebrate this Christian festival any more than they would want to celebrate Christmas. It was surprising to me to have received two invitations to a Halloween party from clubs in two different institutions that are thoroughly Jewish. I found that the idea of Halloween is that it is a sort of pre-election affair.

“May I state that this was formerly a pagan holiday. The ancient Druid priests used to light fires on the evening of October 31st for the dead spirits. This custom was later utilized by the Christian Church after the conversion of the pagans and thereafter the day was recognized as All Hallows or All Saints’ Day, a day on which mass is said for the martyrs and saints of the Christian Church.

“To be sure, many of our so-called good Jewish youth do not understand the associations of Halloween. Their celebrations are truly innocent. They are unaware that they are observing a distinctly Christian and pagan holiday.”

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